Soil Compaction: The Silent Thief
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Soil compaction is becoming a more serious problem for farmers. Field machines tend to be heaver, and there is motivation for farmers to work the soil when it is too moist. Because compacted soil has smaller pores and fewer natural channels, water infiltration is drastically reduced. This causes greater surface wetness, more runoff (which increases erosion) and longer drying time. Wet fields delay planting and harvesting and decrease crop yields. Plant roots don't grow well in dense soil. Inadequate moisture and nutrients reach the plant and yield is reduced. This guide explains the causes and effects of soil compaction.
Archive version. For the most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.